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INEC risk loosing voters’ trust with inconclusive elections.

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A political scientist, Prof. Aloysius Okolie, has expressed concerns over the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of governorship elections in some states as inconclusive.

Okolie, who is one of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said on Tuesday that it was unfortunate that the electoral body has taken some steps backward rather than improve on the gains of the 2015 general elections.



“I don’t think there was any inconclusive election in any state in the 2015 general elections, whereas in the just concluded governorship election, INEC has declared elections in six states inconclusive.

It gives many Nigerians concern that some states’ final results of elections conducted since Saturday have not been announced by INEC,” Okolie said.

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He said if the issue of ‘inconclusive election’ was not adequately resolved in affected states, it might result in more voter apathy in future as well as loss of confidence in INEC.

He will suspect foul play and may decide not to vote in future elections because he will believe that his vote did not count, thereby losing confidence in the electoral umpire,” he warned.

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He, therefore, urged INEC to avoid declaring elections inconclusive, considering that it could heighten political tension and anxiety in affected states.

The don described the militarisation of some states during the March 9 governorship and state Assembly elections as a development that had attracted national shame to the country.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Cameroon crisis: Ambazonia separatists get life sentences

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A leader of Cameroon’s separatist movement, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, and nine of his followers have been given life sentences by a military court in the capital, Yaoundé.

They were convicted of rebellion, among other charges.

Their lawyers accused the judge of bias and withdrew from the proceedings.

The English-speaking separatists argue they are marginalised by the bureaucracy and school system in the majority French-speaking country.

The defendants had been arrested in Nigeria in January 2018 and deported back to Cameroon.

The court session on the verdicts, which started on Monday, went on until 05:30 (04:30 GMT) local time Tuesday morning, reports the BBC’s Leocadio Bongben.

By that time the defence lawyers had already withdrawn from the proceedings but continued to stay in the court as spectators.

Defence barrister Joseph Fru said there were irregularities in the proceedings, including the judge’s biases, but the military court rejected his evidence.

The long list of charges included rebellion, complicity in terrorism, financing terrorism, revolution, insurrection, hostility against the state, propagation of fake news and lack of identification.

The court also ordered the 10 to pay a fine of 250bn CFA francs ($422m; £359m) to the government for civil damages and 12bn CFA francs for court costs.

What’s happening in Cameroon?

Among the 10 who were convicted was Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, the leader of the so-called Governing Council of Ambazonia – the name separatists have given to Cameroon’s Anglophone North-West and South-West regions.

Cameroon’s English-speakers say they have been marginalised for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority.

The current crisis started in 2016 when lawyers and teachers went on strike over the use of French in courts and schools.

In October 2017, activists declared autonomy over the two English-speaking regions – a move rejected by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.

Some took up arms in 2017 and the crisis has forced more than 500,000 people from their homes.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Saudi Arabia implements end to travel restrictions for Saudi women: agency

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Reuters – Saudi Arabia has begun implementing previously announced changes that allow adult women to travel without permission and to exercise more control over family matters, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

“The passports and civil status departments and their branches in all regions of the kingdom have started to implement the amendments stipulated in the royal decree,” the report said, citing an interior ministry source.

Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Gareth Jones

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